Billionaire Ross Perot Dies Aged 89

Cheryl Sanders
July 10, 2019

His performances in the debates spawned a long list of pop culture TV parodies and he ultimately finished third, with 19 percent of the national vote, behind former President Bill Clinton and the incumbent Bush. As local authorities began investigating whether Perot had violated the country's rules, Perot threatened "to sell my houses and leave". The New York Times chose to call him a "wiry Texas gadfly".

Perot, like Trump, also demanded in 1996 that American allies pay more for common defense around the world.

Perot paved his own trail to history.

Perot tried again in 1996 but this time fared poorly, running on the Reform Party ticket.

Henry Ross Perot was born on June 27, 1930 in Texarkana, Texas. Perot left IBM in 1962 and founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Dallas with a $1,000 loan from his wife.

It's important not to overlook how Perot made that first presidential announcement - on CNN's "The Larry King Show".

EDS first sold stock to the public in 1968, and overnight, Perot was worth $350 million. Beards and moustaches were banned - as were labour unions.

Perot recruited retired U.S. Army Special Forces Col. Arthur "Bull" Simons to lead a commando raid on the prison.

In 1979, just before the Iranian Revolution, Iran's government imprisoned two EDS employees over a contract dispute. He was involved in educational reform in Texas and bought from Britain a 13th-century copy of Magna Carta which is now in the national archives in Washington. A nationwide Gallup poll in July 1992 found Perot to be the front-runner for president with 39 percent, Bush at 31 percent, and then-Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas at 25 percent.

"Just learned of death of H. Ross Perot at age 89".

His outsider campaign, much of it financed by his own money, featured 30-minute television "infomercials".

However, Anderson said the fallout from Perot winning a fifth of the vote in the 1992 election came at a cost for multi-party debates.

Many observers suggested he had undercut himself with his eccentricity and penchant for conspiracy theories, but nonetheless many Republicans blamed him for Clinton's win. "Laura and I send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Perot family as they celebrate a full life".

Al Gore, who beat Bush in the popular vote in 2000 but lost the presidency, said he had "always had the utmost respect for Ross Perot, for his patriotism, love of country, and extraordinary commitment to our veterans".

His Texas twang, populist platform - he memorably railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement, warning of a "giant sucking sound" of American jobs to other countries if passed - and frequent TV appearances brought him wide recognition, and his 1992 campaign, in which he garnered almost 19 per cent of the vote and finished third behind Bill Clinton and incumbent President George H.W. Bush, remains one of the most successful third-party bids in American history. In March, as Perot battled leukemia, in the last documented political act of his life, he wrote two checks for the legal maximum amount to Trump's campaign for president, including for the general election next year.

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